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/l/ and /r/, eaRLy vs. LateR

Preschoolers can get the same benefits as older kids from speech therapy targeting later-developing sounds, but we should consider age when determining session length.

October 11, 2022

Remember back in 2018 when they published those (not actually) new speech-sound development norms and a bunch of us were like “What do you mean 4–5-year-olds are supposed to have /l/ and /r/?!?!” 


You probably know some that don’t, so we’re happy to report that Krueger & Storkel found that 4–5-year-olds can learn correct articulation of /l/ and /r/ just as effectively as 7–8-year-olds. They did a small-scale study with four monolingual English speakers in each age group, amusingly referred to as young children vs. old children; that second label also feels applicable to me personally as a 30-something with definite opinions on the relative quality of Lift-a-Flap books…

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